Keylight. Feb. 2021. 128p. ISBN 9781684424238. $35.99; pap. ISBN 9781684424221. $16.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS
This vibrant, bubbly graphic novel is set in a drudgingly mundane future with an absurd social contract. The setup: a world, about 200 years from now, in which everyone has two centuries to live before their expiration date and unceremonious execution—unless they’re able to pass a test, shrouded in mystery, that will gift them eternal life. The story opens with Eva Thorne preparing sourly for her own bicentennial and recalling a long, long romantic past with her newly absent partner. As it turns out, her test involves an examination of their relationship, with time travel, tough choices, tenderness, and a smattering of romance novel–level intimacy. Brody’s (“The Continuum Trilogy”) snappy, straightforward storytelling, coupled with Rivera’s noir angles and delightfully improbable future-scapes, is imperfect—even a bit of an amateur imitation of classic sci-fi—but the book manages to be both tongue-in-cheek and entirely compelling. The rollicking, confident execution (no pun intended) of this comic adventure makes it a true page-turner, and luckily a second volume seems to be in the works.
VERDICT A promising, playful sci-fi noir, this title isn’t perfect or particularly original, but it buzzes with neon energy that leaves readers eager for more.
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